Moths of North Carolina
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Choristoneura Members:
6 NC Records

Choristoneura obsoletana (Walker, 1863) - No Common Name

Superfamily: Tortricoidea Family: TortricidaeSubfamily: TortricinaeTribe: ArchipiniP3 Number: 620296.00 MONA Number: 3631.00
Comments: Species of Choristoneura are Holarctic in distribution and occur mostly in the northern half and boreal regions of North America, the British Isles, Europe and northern Asia.
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1923); Freeman (1958)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The following is based primarily on descriptions by Forbes (1923) and Freeman (1958). The head, palps, antennae, and thorax of the males are pale fawn, while the ground color of the forewing is pale fawn with slightly darker reticulations throughout. The forewing has very limited reddish-brown markings, with the dark basal patch that is present on some Choristoneura missing or obsolete. A small, triangular, subapical patch is usually present but is rather faint. A posteriorly oblique median band is present that extends from the costa to the inner margin, but the central region is obsolete, with distinct dark markings only present on the costa and near the inner margin. The hindwing can be either entirely sordid white, entirely light fuscous, or fuscous on the posterior half and whitish anteriorly and apically. The fringes of all wings are pale and shining. Females are similar but with a darker reddish-brown ground and purplish-black maculations. The forewing of males lack a costal fold and have a convex rather than sinuous costal and outer margin (Forbes, 1923).
Wingspan: 22-23 mm for males and 22-25 mm for females (Freeman, 1958)
Adult Structural Features: Dang (1992) and Freeman (1958) has illustrations of the male and female genitalia.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The larvae are leaf rollers but details of the larval life history are undocumented.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Choristoneura obsoletana is primarily found in the eastern US, but scattered populations have also been found in the central Rockies, and in Nevada, Utah, California and Oregon. In the East, the range extends from Maine southward to southern Florida and westward to central Texas, central Oklahoma, central Kansas, Iowa, and Minnesota. As of 2022, we have only three scattered records from the Coastal Plain and eastern Piedmont.
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Flight Dates:
 High Mountains (HM) ‚Č• 4,000 ft.
 Low Mountains (LM) < 4,000 ft.
 Piedmont (Pd)
 Coastal Plain (CP)

Click on graph to enlarge
Flight Comments: The adults have been observed from April through December in Florida and from April through October elsewhere, with a seasonal peak typically from June through August. As of 2022, our limited records are from July and August.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Local populations can be found in both forested settings and open habitats such as old fields, pine woodlands, and powerline corridors.
Larval Host Plants: The larvae are polyphagous and feed on a taxonomically diverse group of herbaceous and woody species (Freeman, 1958; Ferguson, 1975; Heppner, 2007; MacKay, 1962; Robinson et al., 2010). The known hosts include Celery (Apium graveolens), Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa), Common Pawpaw (Asimina triloba), Sensitive Pea (Chamaecrista), Leatherleaf (Chamaedaphne calyculata), strawberries (Fragaria), huckleberries (Gaylussacia), Sericea Lespedeza (Lespedeza cuneata), blackberries (Rubus), sennas (Senna), and cattails (Typha). - View
Observation Methods: The adults are attracted to lights. We need information on host use and the preferred habitats in North Carolina.
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR [S2S3]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: This species appears to be rare in North Carolina, but more information is needed on host use, preferred habitats, distribution and abundance before we can assess its conservation status.

 Photo Gallery for Choristoneura obsoletana - No common name

Photos: 2

Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2021-07-12
Cabarrus Co.
Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2020-08-23
Onslow Co.